Are you looking for a video conferencing solution to enhance your remote office toolset? Join the crowd! There are several video conferencing solutions available, and many have enhanced their platforms to better support our new flexible work environments.
You might even have a video conference solution already available with your email provider, phone system or other subscription. If you do, this is a great time to fully utilize those products!
Benefits of Video Conferencing
Easy To Use
Perhaps most importantly, video conferencing is easy to use. Setting up a new video conference software or tool requires little onboarding or training. Most are very simple to use and you can get started hosting your first meeting in just a few minutes.
In a time of limited face-to-face interaction with team members, video conferencing and meetings are extremely useful. So much more can be said when face-to-face as opposed to over the phone. Especially when you’re trying to collaborate with a team on a project.
Video conferencing can be more efficient than in-person meetings. Typically, video conferences have a designated start and end time. The format of a video conference or call usually results in meetings with less chit-chat and more organization.
With the mobility that video conferencing offers, you have better meeting attendance. It doesn’t matter if someone is out of the office at the time, team members from anywhere can still join the conference.
Free Resources For Current Users
Microsoft 365 Users
Microsoft 365 provides Teams, a collaboration and communication platform included with your 365 apps. These tools are available for Business and Education clients, as well as home users!
Features of Teams Include:
- Chat between users and small groups
- Share documents/files for viewing and collaboration
- Video and audio calls
- Emojis, memes and GIFs
- Collaborate internally and externally, securely
- Access from multiple devices
If you are already using Microsoft 365, contact ITS to learn more about using Teams!
To support remote work during this time, Intermedia is offering its Video Conferencing Pro AnyMeeting plan for free until the end of the year.
With this plan, users are able to hold unlimited web conferences with up to 30 participants or web and phone conferences with up to 200 participants. Each conference or meeting is started with a custom URL and also features a meeting chat. Intermedia Video Conferencing Pro allows for custom branding, has unlimited recording cloud storage, is HIPPA compliant, and also features end-to-end encryption. Learn more at https://www.intermedia.net/anymeeting-video-conferencing.
Similar to Intermedia, 3CX is also offering a promotion to help users achieve a remote workforce during this unpredictable time.
Current 3CX users already have a tool available to organize web conferences, place impromptu video calls and host meetings. WebClient also has a few other features like chat and internet phone capabilities. ITS uses 3CX for our communication system.
3CX is also offering free standard licensing for three years for new 3CX users! If you have been considering a VoIP phone system that connects your remote users, this is a great time to move your services! ITS can configure and deploy this remotely.
Google Hangouts Meet
Google has been a popular partner in the K-12 arena for many years, but also provides productivity, communication, and collaboration apps for the business sector as well!
To address the need for video conferencing, Google has released their premium version of Google Hangouts Meet to subscribers with smaller plans. Users can schedule meetings, host and record webinars, communicate internally and externally, and more!
What About Zoom?
Many users have claimed free Zoom accounts, both for school and work communication. ITS recommends using the tools listed above if you already have access to them. Zoom has had previous security issues and has experienced some new security flaws as their users increased due to coronavirus. Zoom has been releasing some feature and tool updates to ramp up security, but it is still not high on our list of recommendations.
Contact ITS to learn more about any of these conferencing solutions or request remote setup and support.